Wow, what a difference a day makes! Iggy improved so much since we saw him yesterday, it was truly remarkable. In the morning he was able to Skype with his girlfriend Shannon for a few minutes and communicate with her fairly well. Just from looking at him, we were able to see the difference in the way he carried himself. He seemed more confident and less confused. He was still having trouble answering a few questions, but he was understanding much better than yesterday. A short time later we asked him if his favorite football team was the Green Bay Packers or the San Diego Chargers, to which he responded that the Packers were his favorite and that the Chargers were not very good...a typical Iggy response. He was also able to identify his favorite college football team. Moreover, he was doing much better with small details such as names. He was able to identify myself and his aunt Laura by name when we asked him to do so. He was also watching television for the first time. In the past when the television had been on, he had asked us to turn it off.
After a while Ed (his friend from cycling and high school) and Ashley (his friend from his time living in University City) came to visit. Iggy recognized both of them, and we found out later that Iggy had texted Ashley and told her that he was in the hospital. We had a nice visit with them and while we were talking it seemed like he was much more involved in the conversation than he had been in the past. At one point he even recalled a story where he had invited Jacob and some other friends over to his old apartment. This was the first time that he had started a conversation with us, while also recalling a story at the same time. More importantly, his tone, mannerisms and other aspects of his personality are starting to come back. Once Ed and Ashley left, Iggy's coach Eddie B. stopped by for a while. He was very happy to see that Iggy is showing signs of improvement. They talked to each other for a while and Iggy seemed to understand everything well. Eddie B. was very excited with the progress he has made up to this point and it was nice for us to hear all the good things he had to say about Iggy.
Iggy began talking a lot more once his other visitors left. We were having some normal conversations with him, which would have not been possible in the past few days. We reminisced about people we knew and a few events that took place in high school. It was great to be able to talk to him again, like we always have. Iggy was doing really well understanding what we were saying, but he still had moments when he was having trouble finding the words that he wanted to say. We tried to help him, but there were moments when he could not get his thoughts straight. Today was also the first day he was able to walk around unassisted. On several occasions he got off his bed and walked over to the trashcan to throw trash away. His balance is still not where it needs to be, but it is much better than it was yesterday. Later in the day he went for a walk with the nurse and did not have any issues. He has gotten to the point where he has a good understanding of his situation and the rehabilitation that will be necessary for him to get back to full health. He is remaining upbeat about his situation and he knows he is making good progress.
His occupational therapist came by for her daily visit around 2 pm. When they finished their session she said that Iggy's cognition is improving and he is doing really well. She said that his speech has improved a lot but that he is still having difficulty with categories, such as identifying different vegetables or months. She said once he starts performing more of the types of exercises that she does with him, he will be able to build up his memory. Walter (a friend of Iggy's dad) came to visit later in the afternoon. Iggy recognized him and was able to recount a few details regarding the crash. He was also able to speculate as to the possible reason why he hurt his head by recounting some of the events before his accident. We now believe that his helmet did not cushion his fall completely and likely slipped up when it impacted the ground which, in turn, left Iggy's head exposed. We have heard this account from several people who were present during the crash. Lastly, saw a great improvement in his short term memory. At the end of our visit in the afternoon, he was able to recall certain things we had told him earlier in our visit.
With all the progress Iggy made in the last couple days, it is likely that he will be released from the hospital tomorrow. After that he will need to go to daily rehabilitation for at least a couple weeks. The amount of time he will need to rehab is still not known, and his status is mostly day to day. The progress he has made already has been incredible and his status is very positive going forward.